Genotyping of non-human primate models: perspectives and challenges for the implementation of the "three R's"
Abstract. Although non-human primates (NHPs) represent only a minor fraction of all animals used in biomedical research, there is a continuous effort to further reduce, refine and replace research with NHPs in accordance with the principles of the three R's. Most of the NHP model species are genetically highly diverse, and significant variation occurs among populations of different geographic origins, particularly in macaques. Since such differences can considerably affect the outcome of biomedical experiments, genotyping represents a promising tool to refine research approaches and to reduce the number of NHPs in biomedical research. Accordingly, the European Primate Network (EUPRIM-Net) developed an anonymous online survey to evaluate possibilities and potential hindrances for the application of genotyping in NHP research. On the one hand, our results point to the importance of genetic variation in NHPs and the need to consider the genetic background for future research approaches. On the other hand, our survey identified several hindrances and limiting factors for the application of genotyping and its incorporation in research, primate husbandry and breeding. We provide some fundamental recommendations on how to meet these challenges and how genotyping can be efficiently used to refine NHP research and to reduce the number of NHPs in biomedical research in the long term.